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Mr Flocky

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Just put down another batch of three different brews, after swearing that I'd never do more than one at a time after last time. Maybe the fact that my previous three all tasted great gave me a bit more confidence to do it all again.

So as I'm cleaning up the remains of three brews, I pick up my bottle of Starsan. And remember that, despite washing out all my equipment both after the previous brew and before this brew, I had totally forgotten my Starsan treatment.

So now I've got three brews which all look like they're fermenting away fine, but over all of them hangs the possibility of infection. I hope that simply cleaning and rinsing will have been enough to chase away the greeblies, but I'm just imagining having three FVs of undrinkable beer.

Anyone else forgotten the sterilisation process and gotten away with it?
 

NewtownClown

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Anyone else forgotten the sterilisation process and gotten away with it?

No, but I know of others doing just that.
If your water and pipes aren't filthy and a healthy active starter was pitched with a short lag time you may be ok.

Keep tasting and smelling
 
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I guess it depends on how thorough your cleaning was.
Also, if you didn't leave everything laying around dirty for days but cleaned it and used it immediately after bottling/kegging, I reckon you should be alright. If not, you're probably screwed. :excl:

Best not to forget that step in the process.
 

angus_grant

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I bought a bottle of sanitiser but am yet to use it. I clean out my FV's with boiling water and sodium perc, then wash out with water to rinse the sodium perc out, then ferment away. No sanitiser in sight.

I do the same thing when fermenting is finished: boiling water and sodium perc, then cold water flush. Put lid back on and store in shed.

Also yet to get an infection... ymmv Well, actually I did have a possible infection earlier in the year but that was probably due to trying boiling tinned hopped extract (read it in Charlie Parpazian's book) and thought I'd try it out even thought it sounded strange. So I am not sure whether it was an infection due to cleanliness or due to yeast ill-health and other stuff taking over. Still, not bad for 10 years on and off of kit brewing.
 

wbosher

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A friend of my old man brewed for 20 years, and said he never sanitised once the whole time, just gave everything a really good clean. Never had a bad brew he reckons.

How true it is, I don't know, but that's what he said.
 

Cube

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I wonder if some people actually know what an infection smells or tastes like? Or even that infected beer exists.

"man that batch tasted like shit and smelt like vinggar... Got through it ok but not using that homebrand kit a 1kg sugarz again!"

:lol:
 

citizensnips

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You'll be right, as long as everything was clean chances of infection are minimal. I often question the use of sanitiser and try to use as little as possible as I dont believe its entirely necessary, thats just my opinion. I just tend to boil a full kettle and use that to rinse everything. Haven't had an infection yet! :chug:
 

Thirsty Boy

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being clean is 99% of being sanitary - in all likelihood you'll get away with it no problems. As an accident, take it how it turns out. Most likely it'll be fine.

On the other hand, dont take it as instruction if you do get away with it - me personally, i dont think I'd much care to try drinking the beer of a brewer who chooses not to sanitise deliberately. Their beer may well not be infected - but then again, if the few seconds of work it takes to properly sanitise is too much for them, how much do they actually care about their brewing? I'll stick to beer made by people who've put enough care, attention and effort into it, that they wouldn't dream of exposing it to a risk of potential infection that they could so cheaply and easily avoid.
 

Helles

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A friend of my old man brewed for 20 years, and said he never sanitised once the whole time, just gave everything a really good clean. Never had a bad brew he reckons.

How true it is, I don't know, but that's what he said.

I reakon he brews with a can can kit and probally a kg of (cane) sugar and wouldnt know any better
 

wbosher

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I reakon he brews with a can can kit and probally a kg of (cane) sugar and wouldnt know any better
Yep, you're probably right. With no rinse products out there, it's really so easy there's no reason not to sanitise, it's so easy.
 

431neb

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I bought a bottle of sanitiser but am yet to use it. I clean out my FV's with boiling water and sodium perc, then wash out with water to rinse the sodium perc out, then ferment away. No sanitiser in sight.

I do the same thing when fermenting is finished: boiling water and sodium perc, then cold water flush. Put lid back on and store in shed.

Also yet to get an infection... ymmv Well, actually I did have a possible infection earlier in the year but that was probably due to trying boiling tinned hopped extract (read it in Charlie Parpazian's book) and thought I'd try it out even thought it sounded strange. So I am not sure whether it was an infection due to cleanliness or due to yeast ill-health and other stuff taking over. Still, not bad for 10 years on and off of kit brewing.
I might have done 20 kits over the years and have only just started using a no rinse sanitiser. Previously I used the above method except I generally use warm water with the sodium percarbonate (unscented nappy wash) . I use a Coles branded one but have used a scented one to wash bottles in a pinch and rinsed VERY thoroughly).
The reason I do it with warm water is to conserve the hot water in my tiny hot water service in the shed for rinsing the barrel or bottles (the bittles via a brass bottle wash fitting). Beware though - mains pressure storage units are feeding fresh cold water into the HWS to push the hot out. For prolonged washing sessions I pause for a beer once or twice to let the HWS return to full temperature. It's turned up to it's maximum heat all the time.
Just thought I would share as I think that new brewers can be daunted by some of the sanitising recommendations. Just get a cheap sanitiser use it liberally on anything that will touch cool wort and rinse with boiled water. I cheat with my hot water service but boiled water is safest.
I was also shitting that the scented sodium perc would ruin a brew but I rinsed 3 times with the purple, bottle washer , sanitiser, squirty thing and then ran 'em over the brass bottle washer on the HWS.
If I can maintain clean enough gear in my shed anyone can. There's sawdust and sticky wort spills all over the place. Just spray it all down with sodium perc in a spray bottle and off we go....
ps angus_grant , years ago I was advised to boil kits every time I brew . I still do it to boil my hop additions when I modify kits and can't complain about the beer I'm making so I think your funky beer may well have been a true infection.
 

Mr Flocky

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Well they still smell ok. Haven't had a taste yet - will wait till I take another hydrometer reading. I'm just pissed off at myself - as has been said, it only takes a minute or two to do it. I even had the bottle of starsan out on the counter. If I do end up with one or two or three ruined brews, then that's a lesson I've learned - to be more methodical in my preparation.

At least I have a good collection of previously brewed beers to make me feel better about myself.
 

Juzdu

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Well they still smell ok. Haven't had a taste yet - will wait till I take another hydrometer reading. I'm just pissed off at myself - as has been said, it only takes a minute or two to do it. I even had the bottle of starsan out on the counter. If I do end up with one or two or three ruined brews, then that's a lesson I've learned - to be more methodical in my preparation.

At least I have a good collection of previously brewed beers to make me feel better about myself.
You didn't actually say what you 'cleaned' with? Unless I missed it. To clean just before a brew (and after bottling one) I use 10 litres of hot water with 1.5 tablespoons of Stericlean in my fermenter, use the bottlebrush to spread it all over the sides, then soak the o-ring, spoon, can opener, airlock etc in it for an hour or so. Take all the bits out, close it up with the lid and give it a good shake, and run some through the tap. Empty it out, fill with 10 litres of hot water, close and shake it again, then pour that water all over the bits (in my bath). Another 10 litres of hot water, shake and pour (and run through tap), and you can feel and smell all the stericlean is gone. Then i make the brew.

The only time I use my Morgans no rinse sanitiser is to sanitise my bottles just before bottling (I rinse each bottle with hot water after drinking).

There was an argument in another thread that my Stericlean is a cleaner not a sanitiser, but it hasn't failed me yet. If that's true, then I guess I don't sanitise either. What did you clean with pre-brew?
 

manticle

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To say you use boiling water and sodium percarb but don't sanitise is disingenous - both heat and sodium percarb have sanitising properties.
Generally agree with TB- if your stuff was clean, the beer will probably be fine but I wouldn't use that ( or the experience of 'never sanitised, never had an infection') as an indication that sanitising isn't a very worthwhile step. Believe my experience when I tell you that tipping 20-30 L of AG beer you've nursed for 2 weeks is depressing.
 

wyane

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+1 sodium percarbonate.
FWIW since someone mentioned warm water, we recently got an instant gas hot water thingo installed. This delivers water at 50C max. For sanitising of the FV, I fill it most of the way with "hot" water from the hot water tap. Boil the jug while this is filling -- about 1.7L -- and add that and it all ends up plenty hot enough for the job.
 

pcmfisher

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Ha, I was thinking the same thing. My Dad has been brewing for about 30 years - he loves his Brigalow Draught with a kilo of sugar - and he has always just given everything (bottles/fermenter/spoons/etc) a rinse with boiling water and strangely enough, rarely has a dodgy batch.

OT. I try to get him to try something new, but the old man is happy with his brigalow :lol: (Actually doesn't taste too bad on a hot day on the gold coast!)
Brigalow Draught- check

Kilo of Sugar - check

Gold Coast Weather - check

Rarely has a dodgy batch, tastes ok on a hot day

I obviously go to too much trouble with my brewing :rolleyes:
 

drsmurto

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+1 sodium percarbonate.
FWIW since someone mentioned warm water, we recently got an instant gas hot water thingo installed. This delivers water at 50C max. For sanitising of the FV, I fill it most of the way with "hot" water from the hot water tap. Boil the jug while this is filling -- about 1.7L -- and add that and it all ends up plenty hot enough for the job.
For what job?

Bathing in? Bit too hot for my liking.

Sanitising? No, even if you managed to raise the temp to 60C (an almost full fermetner - say 20-25L at 50C topped up with 1.7L of 100C water wont raise the temp by much at all, 5C perhaps 10) you won't have killed everything (or much of anything really).

We regularly see threads where people advocate all manner of half arsed approaches to sanitation followed by the sage words - never had an infection. Russian roulette is fun no?

A few minutes effort with an actual sanitiser is a small price to pay for sanitary insurance for your beer.

Sodium percarbonate is a cleaner. For those advocating its sanitising qualities, please provide some evidence for its efficacy. I've not seen any other than when mixed with surfactants and in high concentration at which point it's more likely the surfactants are doing the sanitising.
 

Nick JD

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For what job?

Bathing in? Bit too hot for my liking.

Sanitising? No, even if you managed to raise the temp to 60C (an almost full fermetner - say 20-25L at 50C topped up with 1.7L of 100C water wont raise the temp by much at all, 5C perhaps 10) you won't have killed everything (or much of anything really).

We regularly see threads where people advocate all manner of half arsed approaches to sanitation followed by the sage words - never had an infection. Russian roulette is fun no?

A few minutes effort with an actual sanitiser is a small price to pay for sanitary insurance for your beer.

Sodium percarbonate is a cleaner. For those advocating its sanitising qualities, please provide some evidence for its efficacy. I've not seen any other than when mixed with surfactants and in high concentration at which point it's more likely the surfactants are doing the sanitising.
Wouldn't the H2O2 fizzing off the Napisan be a sanitiser at a high enough conc?
 

angus_grant

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I've always used sodium perc and boiling water. But I suppose technically the sodium perc is cleaning and the boiling water is doing some sanitising, so I am doing some of the proper job. :)

Consider me rapped on the knuckles. I will mix up some of the sanitiser for my next ferment (hopefully last of my kit brews as I can shift to BIABs now) of Morgans Golden Saaz.
 

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